Blitz memories shared by woman, 91, to mark Remembrance Sunday

An Ayr care home resident said her father's actions in World War II saved her family's lives.

Clydebank Blitz memories shared by Ayr woman, 91, to mark Remembrance Day Greenan Manor Care Home

A resident in a Scottish care home has shared her memories of taking refuge in an Anderson shelter for two days during the infamous Clydebank Blitz to mark Remembrance Sunday.

Lorna Graham, 91, lived in Clydebank during the Second World War and has recalled how she and her family endured one of Scotland’s most devastating air raids in 1941.

She had been just nine years old when she took  refuge with her family in an Anderson shelter for two days whilst Luftwaffe relentlessly bombed the areas of Clydebank and Glasgow and said that  it was her father’s knowledge of building shelters in the trenches during World War I that kept her family safe during the air raid.

Her father, Andrew, who was an engineer,  had previously fought in the Battle of the Somme during World War I and was concerned about the instructions given by the Ministry of Defence on the construction of the new Anderson shelter. 

He dug the base of the shelter much deeper every day to ensure it matched the measurements of the former World War I shelter. 

Ms Graham, who now resides at Greenan Manor Care Home in Ayr, said: “My father’s actions saved the lives of our family.”

When she and her family eventually emerged from the shelter, they found their home was one of many that had been completely destroyed along with all of their possessions. Following the devastation, they were all evacuated to a farm in Ayrshire for safety.

Over two nights between March 13 and 14 1941, Luftwaffe targeted industrial sites along Clydeside. Glasgow suffered the most fatalities, but relative to its population, Clydebank was the worst affected. 

Ms Graham said that the sound of the bombing had not had any lasting effect on her mental health.

“When we were hiding in the Anderson shelter my parents continually assured myself and my sister Anne to not be afraid,” she said “They told us that it was just a great adventure.”

Elaine Hughes, care home manager at Greenan Manor, added: “Lorna is a much-loved resident here at Greenan Manor, and her courage to share this remarkable story with us is admirable.

“It is important we keep telling these stories to educate future generations of these events, and to pay respects to those who endured this hardship.”

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